Protective equipment can be divided into technical protective equipment (technical measures) and personal protective equipment

Important to note regarding protective equipment

  • We want to remind you that protective equipment must be used when required, for example as a result of a risk assessment.
  • It is also important that the right kind of protective equipment is used, ie that it provides the intended protection against the hazards (eg chemicals, infectious substances, body fluids) that you may be exposed to.
  • If required protective equipment is missing, work must be put on hold.
  • Disposable protective equipment cannot be re-used since the protective functions will not be maintained.

Checking laboratory equipment

Various types of laboratory equipment needs to be checked regularly. Below is a list of example checks of protective equipment and other equipment. A plan for this type of check should be established in each operation/laboratory, and be followed up during yearly work environment inspections ("arbetsmiljörond"), were checklists are used. 

Protective equipment

The following checks may be carried out by laboratory personnel with correct measuring instruments and sufficient knowledge of the process.

Additional information in Swedish is available in provisions from the Swedish work environment authority, describing first aid and crisis support and design of the workplace, see also standard EN 14175, 2003 and 2004 regarding fume hoods.

Equipment How often What to check
Eye wash (Eye wash station)

Flush the eye wash 1/month to avoid the growth of bacteria etc in the pipes).

Check flow, temperature and document the results once/6 months.

Check flow and temperature (approved interval = 20-30°C).

Date and signature on a list next to the eye wash is sufficient documentation.

Also check that the eye wash has a green sign "eye wash" and is not blocked.

Emergency shower

Flush the emergency regularly (especially if warm water, to avoid the growth of bacteria etc in the pipes).

Check flow, temperature and document the results once/6 months.

Check flow and temperature. Emergency showers with warm water (20-30°C) are recommended if corrosive chemicals are handled.

Date and signature on a list next to the emergency shower is sufficient documentation.

Also check that the emergency shower has a green sign "emergency shower" and is not blocked.

Fume cupboards One/1 year, more often may be reguired if very hazardous materials are handled consult the risk assessment.

The flow of air must be at least 0.5 m/s at sash opening. Alarm functions and lighting must also be checked.

If the fume hood has interlocked electrical power outlets (outlets interrupted at loss of ventilation), this too must be tested by low air flow in sash opening (alarm should go off and electricity interrupted).

Correct and calibrated measuring equipment and the necessary knowledge of how to take measurements are required to carry out these checks.

The check must be documented in a protocol/equivalent, with measurement data and an assessment of whether the functions are OK.

A marking/label should be placed on the fume cupboard with information that the check has been carried out and the date. If the fume cupboard is not approved, this must be clearly stated.

Fume bench  Once /year Check flow, 0.5 m/s
Local exhaust ventilation, hoods etc.  Once /year Check function

Other laboratory equipment, for example

Equipment Check interval


 Autoclaves  1-2 per year depending on type  Check of pressure vessel to be carried out by accredited organisation
 Laminar Air Flow (LAF) bench  Once/year  
 Microbiological safety cabinet  Once/year  More complicated check than fume hood, external expertise should be used
 Earth leakage circuit breaker  Once/year  


Other types of equipment such as centrifuges and analysis equipment may also need to be checked, calibrated or serviced on a regular basis.